It is a hidden health condition; many women, even young ones feel like their lives are held hostage by pelvic pain.
“Some people aren’t even able to sit with pelvic floor pain and sometimes they cannot go along with their everyday activities. Sometimes with prolapse of the bladder or vagina; they can have pain with standing or walking or pressure. And you don’t want to live your life like that,” says Pat Curr, physical therapist with Lee Memorial Health System.
Some experts attribute these symptoms with a pelvic floor dysfunction. So physical therapists who specialize in women’s health are focusing on the ‘floor’.
“You can strengthen this area to have reduced pain and pressure. Sometimes a change in diet for pelvic floor pain can be very significant, there’s irritants that come into our system that irritate the bladder and could just change the whole environment of the vaginal region,” says Curr.
The pelvic floor includes muscles that surround the rectal and genital area. It supports the internal organs and helps with the function of urination and defecation. Pain can present anywhere in the region, sometimes following traumatic childbirth where a nerve was damaged.
Physical therapy works to strengthen muscles as well as relax tight tissue. Using a hands on approach, women may avoid surgery or injection therapy.
“Maybe it’s just a muscle that can be released, a trigger point in the pelvic floor that can be released and it might save them a little money, time effort and just a couple of visits might do the trick,” says Curr.
Therapy is performed in a privae setting inside riverwalk sports medicine & rehab.
“We don’t really want to be out in a big gym discussing their personal issues, so we do have a private area we can sit down one-on-one and have a 45 minute visit treatment time,” says Curr.
And it’s helping women regain control over their lives.